The name Ignatius Kaphinde may not ring bells in the ears of many people. But those who are passionate with local film industry may get to know him better. He plays the role of member of Parliament (MP Mike Chilekwa) for Khalidwe Constituency in one of the Malawi’s promising local films called The Black Angel.
He doubles as an actor and director of Msonkhamanja Transformation Theatre, a youthful group that is behind a successful production of The Black Angel. He describes the film as another revelation of Malawian typical films that helped to unearth his acting talent beyond horizons. But how did he become such an actor? “I started acting in 1998 when I was 10 years old.
But my acting career grew when I was in secondary school at Tsabango CDSS in Lilongwe from 2003. I used to watch Nigerian movies and that inspired me a lot and locally, Ian Chisekula of the Rising Choreos made sure that I embark on acting career,” says Ignatius. Ignatius says his journey in theatre has always been progressive after receiving several awards in drama competitions such as Atem. “I emerged Atem best actor for three times when I was in secondary school. This was not a joke,” he says. He also attributes his acting career to his family members. “I grew up in a Christian family in Lilongwe.
My family has talented members. My brother is a musician and two of my sisters are actresses who also starred in The Black Angel,” he says. The youthful director, aged 23, says youth of Msonkhamanja Transformation Theatre were inspired by the miracles that God performs on human beings despite their deeds to establish the grouping in 2005. This year the group has produced a new film called The Darkest Hour which is expected to be launched this month. “Basically, our films tackle social issues love and spiritual growth. And our second film continues to tackle such issues,” says Ignatius.
He, however, bemoans lack of support towards films which is a major challenge the film industry in Malawi faces. At first, The Black Angel, was a mere stage play which was written by Msonkhamanja CCAP youth. “Despite the fact that the film industry in Malawi is facing challenges such as promotion, we are geared to produce more movies due to overwhelming response that our first project is currently receiving,” he said.